Professor Linda  Mulcahy

Professor Linda Mulcahy

Professor of Law

Department of Law

Telephone
020-7955-7268
Room No
New Academic Building 7.15

About me

Professor Linda Mulcahy joined the Law Department in 2010. Having gained qualifications in law, sociology and the history of art and architecture, Linda’s work has a strong interdisciplinary flavour. Her research focuses on disputes and their resolution and she has studied the socio-legal dynamics of disputes in a number of contexts including the car distribution industry, NHS, divorce, public sector complaints systems and judicial review. Her work often has an empirical focus and she has received a number of grants from the ESRC, AHRC, Department of Health, Nuffield Foundation and Lotteries Fund in support of her work.  In recent years she has been working on the relationship between due process and the design of law courts.  She is also interested in visual representations of justice. In addition to her work in the Law Department Linda is the first Director of the LSE’s new PhD Academy.

External activities

Professor Mulcahy regularly works with NGOs and government Departments in promoting research led policy initiatives.  Over the last two years she has been closely involved with JUSTICE and contributed to papers produced by them on the abolition of the dock and the re-imagining of courts. Her research on disputes between doctors and patients resulted in her appointment as an expert consultant to several NHS bodies including the Neale, Kerr Haslam and Ayling Inquiries, the Health Care Commission, The Commission for the Regulation of Healthcare Professions, and the Judicial Studies Board. She has had close links with the Public Law Project and has produced two research reports with them on hospital complaints procedures and judicial review.  She is a former Chair and Treasurer of the UK Socio-Legal Studies Association and continues to be closely involved in its annual national conference for PhD students. In the last year she has lectured in Germany, France, Australia and the United States. Linda is an editor of Social and Legal Studies and a founding member of the editorial board for Palgrave Macmillan’s socio-legal book series.

Research interests

Linda’s research interests lie in the field of dispute resolution. Her published work focuses on the evolution and dynamics of disputes, mediated settlement and the trial. Most recently she has written a book on the ways in which the design of law courts conditions the enjoyment of due process rights. Linda is currently in receipt of two research grants. The first of these is an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award which is held in partnership with the British Library and seeks to bring together the Library’s expertise in oral history with the LSE’s Legal Biography Project, of which Linda is a co-director. This project grant is funding a study of the oral history of court clerks. Her second grant from the Leverhulme Trust is being used to explore the recent history of court design and is being conducted with the co-operation of the Ministry of Justice. Linda is co-directing this project with architect Emma Rowden.

Teaching

Books

Legal Architecture : Justice, Due Process and the Place of Law (Routledge : 2010)

Legal Architecture addresses how the environment of the trial can be seen as a physical expression of our relationship with ideals of justice. It provides an alternative account of the trial, which charts the troubled history of notions of due process and participation. In contrast to visions of judicial space as neutral, Linda Mulcahy argues that understanding the factors that determine the internal design of the courthouse and courtroom are crucial to a broader and more nuanced understanding of the trial. Partitioning of the courtroom into zones and the restriction of movement within it are the result of turf wars about who can legitimately participate in the legal arena and call the judiciary to account. The gradual containment of the public, the increasing amount of space allocated to advocates, and the creation of dedicated space for journalists and the jury, all have complex histories that deserve attention. But these issues are not only of historical significance. Across jurisdictions, questions are now being asked about the internal configurations of the courthouse and courtroom, and whether standard designs meet the needs of modern participatory democracies: including questions about the presence and design of the modern dock; the ways in which new technologies threaten to change the dynamics of the trial and lead to the dematerialization of our primary site of adversarial practice; and the extent to which courthouses are designed in ways which realise their professed status as public spaces. This fascinating and original reflection on legal architecture will be of interest to socio-legal or critical scholars working in the field of legal geography, legal history, criminology, legal systems, legal method, evidence, human rights and architecture.

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Legal Methods and Systems: Text and Materials  4th edition (Sweet and Maxwell, 2010) (with Carl Stychin)

The fourth edition of this cases and materials book published in September 2010 aims to introduce law students to traditional foundations of legal reasoning alongside socio-legal and critical material which questions the canon. In addition to the material in previous editions the most recent version of this cases and materials book reflects on ongoing discussion about human rights, the changing landscape of dispute resolution and diversity in the legal profession; the reform of the tribunal system; the opening of the Supreme Court and the ways in which the insights of comparative lawyers have resonance in contemporary debates aout the multi-cultural nature of our society

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Contract Law in Perspective, 5th edition (Routledge-Cavendish, 2008)

Contract Law in Perspective complements 'black letter' treatments of contract by looking at legal doctrine and statutes in their social, political and economic contexts. In addition to examining the key doctrines in the field, it explains the ideology behind them and considers the extent to which they serve the needs of the business community and consumers. By taking the ‘big ideas’ in contract theory and relating these to practice, the book hopes to broaden understanding and appreciation of the contemporary relevance subject.

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Feminist Perspectives on Contract (Cavendish Publishing, 2005) (with S. Wheeler)

This edited collection questions the assumptions about feminist perspectives on contract law made in mainstream scholarship and the ideologies that underpin them, drawing attention to the ways in which the law of contract has facilitated the virtual exclusion of women, the feminine and the private sphere from legal discourse.

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Disputing Doctors: The socio-legal dynamics of complaints about doctors (Open University Press, 2003) 

This book looks at the dynamics of doctor-patient disputes. Reflecting on fifteen years of empirical research on disputes in the NHS it considers the contexts in which these disputes arise, the different ways in which the parties construct disputing narratives and moral identities in the course of making and defending their claims, and the extent to which existing systems for resolving disputes are sensitive to their needs. Based on research with patients, relatives, doctors and NHS managers, the book analyses how they perceive these disputes and what they seek to achieve by holding each other to account.

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Articles